The Maori Party say a cultural impact assessment clause in Auckland’s Draft Unitary Plan is a good idea, and that people focusing on race and cost are missing the big picture.
Te Ururoa Flavell, Maori Party Co-leader says “the provision in the plan to seek a cultural impact assessment from mana whenua on certain sites tagged for development is a good thing. It’s good because Maori have knowledge, history and a unique cultural perspective that can and will add value to our resource management decisions.”
“We are, however, shocked and disappointed with some of the reactions to the proposal. It tells us that our Maori culture, our knowledge, and our history are still treated as second class here in Aotearoa.”
“To assume that there is no value in what mana whenua have to offer, or to instantly dismiss issues of cultural significance and the role that plays in resource management are clear examples of racism. Institutional racism,” says Mr Flavell.
Tariana Turia says “this is also a Treaty issue. It’s about tangata whenua having a right to participate in decision making over our natural resources.”
“For too long local Councils have denied, avoided and side stepped their obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Well it is time to step up. It’s time to challenge the status quo and make it more inclusive of tangata whenua and our rights as indigenous people of Aotearoa, and we commend Auckland Council for their courage in taking this step on behalf of the nation.
“We encourage more New Zealanders to learn about our history to get a better perspective on this issue.
“This is also about the principles of good decision making in resource management. It’s obvious that developers want to build as cheaply and as quickly as possible, well sorry, private profit hardly seems like the foundation of good decision making, especially when you are talking about developments that will impact on multiple generations of New Zealanders.
“We welcome the inclusion of cultural considerations in Auckland’s Draft Unitary Plan and the input of the Independent Maori Statutory Board in this debate. We also acknowledge the long history that hapu and iwi have in managing our resources and the vital role they play as tangata tiaki,” says Mrs Turia.
Source: Maori Party.